Jules-Amédée Barbey d’Aurevilly was born in Saint-Sauveur-le-Vicomte on 2 November 1808. His ancestry in Normandy dated back several centuries; originally of peasant stock, his family bought its way into the nobility in 1756. The circumstances of Barbey’s upbringing were curiously mixed, his father’s austere, Catholic royalist views conflicting with his mother’s and grandmother’s gambling and with his uncle’s fondness for alcohol. The combination of religious and political conservatism and debauchery would later become a central feature of Barbey’s literature. The geographical and historical background of his birth, in particular the legends of the counterrevolutionary Chouan insurgency, would also …
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Gillan, Robert. "Barbey-D'Aurevilly". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 November 2006
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